The NHL Draft continued today, with the Los Angeles Kings making several more picks in Rounds 2-7.
The Kings traded up twice today, first giving up picks 51 and 97 for pick 45, then later, they acquired pick 140 for pick 159 and a seventh-round pick in 2021.
The larger trade, however, was the Kings dealing the 60th overall pick to the New York Rangers for 2017 seventh-overall pick Lias Andersson. Andersson hasn’t been a fit with the Rangers but could still have huge upside. Since he was loaned to the SHL last season, he’s scored eight goals and 16 points in 19 games between last season and this year.
I really like this deal for the Kings. Andersson needs a change of scenery and could still turn into an effective NHL forward. He’s just about to turn 22 years old and could certainly earn a spot in Los Angeles’ lineup next season.
Here’s a list of every player selected by the Kings, as well as a quick summary on each player and some general thoughts on the draft:
Quinton Byfield- The Kings started the draft by taking Byfield second overall. He projects as a potential top-line center, who will have the chance to learn from Anze Kopitar in Los Angeles.
Helge Grans- Grans was an interesting pick at 35th overall and was just the eighth defenseman taken in the draft. He has huge offensive upside, averaging a point per game in the J20 SuperElit as a defenseman this past season. However, he’ll need to touch-up his defensive game a bit before joining the Kings.
Brock Faber- The Kings followed up their selection of Grans with another right-handed defenseman in Faber. Faber didn’t have great production, scoring just 12 points in 46 games with the U.S. Under-18 team, but the Kings did trade up to get him.
Kasper Simontaival- Simontaival, a 5-foot-9 right winger, put up strong numbers playing Jr. A hockey in Finland, scoring 25 goals and 57 points in just 48 games in the 2019-20 season.
Alex Laferriere- Not to be confused with Alexis Lafreniere, Laferriere spent this past season in the USHL. The right winger and scored 19 goals and 45 points in 42 games.
Juho Markkanen- The 11th goalie of the draft to be selected, Markkanen split his time between a Finnish Under-18 and an Under-20 league. Playing in the Under-18 league, he had strong numbers, though he did struggle playing in the Under-20 Jr. A league, where he had just an .881 save percentage in 18 games.
Martin Chromiak- Chromiak was ranked by just about all scouts to go in either the second or third round, so it’s shocking to see the forward slip so far. After joining the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs part way through the season, he scored 11 goals and 33 points in just 28 games.
Ben Meehan- The left-handed defenseman played in the USHL this past season, scoring eight goals and 18 points in 25 games. Clearly the Kings like him, after trading up to get him.
Aatu Jamsen- Jamsen, a right winger, lit up Finland’s Under-18 league, scoring 21 goals and 47 points in just 24 games.
I think Los Angeles made the right move going with Byfield over Tim Stutzle. There’s a lot to like about his game and you can’t really miss taking the big, high-scoring natural center.
Grans has the potential to turn into a key part of the Kings’ defense group and could potentially put up huge numbers in the NHL. I think this could be a great pick for Los Angeles but Grans needs to focus on the defensive side of the game.
I also think Chromiak will end up being an absolute steal at 128th overall. He’s expected to be playing with Shane Wright in Kingston once again this season and personally, I would’ve taken him with the 66th pick. Getting Chromiak so late was a big win for the Kings, in my opinion.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Are you happy with the Kings' picks in rounds 2-7?